Homemade Albert Einstein Costume

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Things You'll Need

  • Slacks and sweater, three-piece suit or leather jacket and pants

  • Lab coat (optional)

  • Dress shoes

  • Wig or white hair spray

  • Spirit gum adhesive

  • Fake mustache

  • Spirit gum solvent

  • Cotton swabs

An Einstein costume can be simple or elaborate.

To scientists, Albert Einstein is best known as the German physicist whose remarkable contributions to theoretical physics included the development of the theory of relativity. To some non-scientists, he was the guy with the wild white hair in old photos. No matter how much or little you know about the man, creating an Albert Einstein costume is a pretty easy and affordable way to get ready for a costume party. And you'll probably be happier than a lot of your fellow costumed guests because the man famously valued comfortable clothes. (Spoiler alert: no Einstein lab coat needed.)

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Tip

Einstein didn’t seem to give much care to what he wore. His clothes were generally a little rumpled and baggy – so definitely don’t iron anything, or pick garments that are perfectly tailored to fit you.

Creating an Albert Einstein Costume

Einstein was widely photographed throughout his career and up to his death in 1955, so there's plenty of inspiration to choose from when you're putting together a costume. Einstein's "signature look" was a three-piece suit: Like many other men of his time, that's what he routinely wore while working. Most photos from his life weren't colorized so it's hard to know definitively what all of his suits looked like, but gray, brown and black are safe choices. Check thrift stores for a suit that's just a little too big for you, and wear it with any white dress shirt and neutral tie.

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If you don't want to wear a suit, wear a worn-in brown leather jacket with gray or black dress pants. He bought such a jacket from Levi's when he emigrated to the U.S. in the 1930s and wore it often. Or, go with an even easier solution by wearing just a comfortable sweater and pants, and let your hair be the main element of your costume.

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Finish your Albert Einstein costume with any pair of comfortable dress shoes. Skip the socks if you want to be as historically accurate as possible; apparently he didn't like wearing them because it bothered him when his big toe made a hole in a sock.

How to Make Einstein Hair

Einstein's two most famous features were his hair and mustache, so these are must-have elements of your costume. You have a few options for how to make Einstein hair. The easiest way is to buy an Einstein wig – but if you have hair that's at least a few inches long, here's how to make Einstein hair without a wig. Tease your hair to make it stand up from your head and heavily spray it with white hair spray, available wherever costumes are sold. Finish with regular hair spray if necessary to keep your hair standing up.

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Wear a wig, or streak your own hair with white and use hairspray to make it stand up.

As for the Einstein mustache, you'll need a white or gray costume mustache. Hold it to your face and trim it to size, if necessary. Following package directions, apply a thin layer of spirit gum adhesive to your upper lip. It's designed to be easy to remove from skin. Apply some adhesive to the mustache too.

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Spread a thin layer of spirit gum adhesive over your upper lip.

Once the spirit gum has slightly dried and is tacky, place the mustache on your face and press it for about 30 seconds to help the adhesive take hold. At the end of the event, remove the adhesive by working cotton swabs dipped in spirit gum solvent between the mustache and your skin.

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Press and hold the mustache until it feels secure.

What About the Einstein Lab Coat?

People dressing up in an Albert Einstein costume often pair the famous hair with a white lab coat. While there's at least one well-known photo of Einstein wearing a light-colored jacket that resembles a lab coat, the scientist worked with numbers rather than in a laboratory. But it's unlikely anyone at your costume party will want to debate the accuracy of an Einstein lab coat, so go ahead and wear one if your goal is just to put together an easy and recognizable costume.

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